Mosquitoes and diseases they can spread: There's an app for that

Photo: CDC/James Gathany

Central Florida's tropical conditions provide a prime environment for mosquitoes to hang out for most of the year, especially with winters staying warmer than average.

Now, there is an app developed by NASA that gives users the ability to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites.

The Mosquito Habitat Mapper in the Globe Observer app allows users to also identify a type of mosquito and find out which disease it can transmit, such as Zikachikungunya or dengue.

Mosquitoes rapidly spread diseases across the world and kill nearly 2.7 million people each year.

The app is easy to navigate and it also provides training to help users navigate through it.

The mosquito information, collected by users, will aid NASA satellite-based research about the environmental conditions aiding mosquito outbreaks.

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Scientists at NASA said that although satellites can’t detect mosquitoes, they are a great observation platform from which to monitor environmental changes and variables that can help grow mosquito populations.

These observations can help point out locations where diseases start.

Sanding water creates optimal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

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By removing standing water, users can report when the breeding sites have vanished, which ultimately reduces the risk of diseases.

The Mosquito Habitat Mapper is worldwide, and it has the potential to reduce mosquito-borne disease.

In the future, the plan is to have a global citizen science mosquito database that will be hosted by the United Nations Environment Live website. Read more about the UN Live website, here.

According to NASA, The Mosquito Habitat Mapper will be the basis for a global experiment in support of
International Science Center & Science Museum Day on Nov. 10.

Museums and science centers around the world are encouraging their communities to use the app to map mosquito habitats throughout the summer and fall of 2017, leading up to the Nov. 10 event.

MORE ABOUT: NASA Citizen Science App Tackles Mosquito-Borne Disease

Credit: NASA